Halcon Says No Drilling for Half of Mercer County Landowners

weakest linkAbout the half the landowners in Mercer County, Pennsylvania who signed leases with Halcon Resources (via CX Energy) to allow shale gas drilling on their property found out Monday night that Halcon is not exercising their lease options. The other half found out Halcon will go forward with drilling on their property.

What happened?

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Youngstown, OH Delays Vote to Lease City Land for Drilling

Youngstown, Ohio City Council members have delayed a vote to move forward with leasing city-owned land for natural gas drilling. A vote was planned for Wednesday, but council would not take a final vote, partly at the urging of state Rep. Bob Hagan (D). As frequently happens at government meetings when drilling is discussed, loud-mouthed protesters showed up to cheer, boo and in general make noise. One of the protesters was dragged out by police and charged with disorderly conduct.

Hagan and Democrat council members want the city to wait until the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completes a study on fracking—which won’t be done until 2014—before moving forward with leasing.

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Will Marcellus & Utica Shale Gas be Exported Any Time Soon?

Twelve applications have been made to the federal government requesting permission to set up export facilities for liquefied natural gas (LNG), some of those for Marcellus and Utica shale gas. Japan desperately needs natural gas in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster which is shutting down all of Japan’s nuclear power industry. Most of Europe is impotent to begin fracking their own shale deposits (thanks to the iron grip of extreme environmentalism).

The U.S. has plenty of gas and other countries want it. But one thing stands in the way of exporting it—the Obama Dept. of Energy and a study they are conducting to evaluate how much natural gas prices will go up here at home if we start exporting it. The study was due to be completed early this year. Then “by end of summer.” And now? End of the year. Kind of sounds like the DEC in New York with their “study” of drilling!

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Sunoco Hands over Keys to Philly Refinery after 146 Years

As MDN reported in early July, Sunoco (about to be purchased by Energy Transfer Partners), signed a joint venture deal with the Carlyle Group, a Washington, D.C. private equity firm, to keep Sunoco’s Philadelphia oil refinery open (see this MDN story). The deal will save 850 jobs. The reason the deal happened at all? The Marcellus Shale.

On Wednesday, Sunoco handed over the ceremonial keys to the plant to Carlyle. Sunoco maintains a one-third interest in the refinery, and Carlyle will be the new operator.

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